UH advances in Big West tournament with win over UC Santa Barbara

Apr. 19—The Hawaii men's volleyball team isn't done just yet.

The Hawaii men's volleyball team isn't done just yet.

With its season on the brink after dropping the opening set to No. 6 seed UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, the third-seeded Rainbow Warriors battled back to eliminate the Gauchos 23-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-23 in the first round of the Outrigger Big West Men's Volleyball Championship at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

Senior Alaka'i Todd guaranteed himself another home match with a team-high 13 kills, and Chaz Galloway came off the bench to inject some life into a UH team that had lost three of the past four sets against the Gauchos after falling behind 1-0.

A crowd of 5, 940 had their minds eased over the final two sets as Hawaii (23-6 ) took advantage of 50 combined hitting and service errors by the Gauchos (9-18 ) to secure a spot in tonight's second semifinal against No. 2 seed UC Irvine.

"Thrilled to get the win, " Hawaii coach Charlie Wade said. "We got off to a bit of a slow start. Hard to get into an offensive rhythm. I think they missed 10 serves in the first set."

Junior Keoni Thiim added eight kills and middle blocker Kurt Nusterer had seven kills in eight swings for the two-time defending tournament champions, who played in the first round of the BWC tournament for the first time.

Hawaii and UCSB were tied 22-22 in the fourth set when Galloway sandwiched a kill between two kills from setter Tread Rosenthal to set up tonight's match against the Anteaters. The teams have split their 12 sets this season.

"Fortunate right now to have a 2-1 advantage on them and beat them at their place the last time out, " Wade said. "Super talented team. Those pins are as physical as any team."

Galloway made a big difference once he entered the match in the second set. He finished with six digs, five kills, two assists and an ace and provided a veteran presence UH needed.

"I felt pretty comfortable out there and going on the court, " Galloway said. "I was just trying to do everything I could to help the guys who didn't have that experience."

The Gauchos committed 10 service errors in the first set, but still held off the'Bows, who hit just.182 with nine kills and five errors.

Nusterer had three kills in three swings, but UH struggled to get production from the outside.

Freshman Louis Sakanoko logged UH's first kill from an outside hitter to tie the set at 17-all and UH briefly took the lead on a UCSB hitting error.

An error by Thiim gave UCSB set point at 24-21, prompting Hawaii coach Charlie Wade to call his second timeout.

Thiim recorded a kill off the block out of the timeout, and his tough serve led to a UCSB hitting error to make it 24-23.

The Gauchos called timeout to stop the momentum. Thiim still managed to serve tough, but Geste Bianchi rocketed a ball off a UH player and out of bounds to put UCSB ahead 1-0.

Hawaii tied the match at a set apiece, holding the Gauchos to a.043 hitting percentage in the second.

The Gauchos made a combined 26 serving and hitting errors in the first two sets. Hawaii's Kai Taylor provided a key ace and two other tough serves late to help the Rainbow Warriors avoid falling in an 0-2 hole.

Galloway, who subbed into the match toward the end of the second set, assisted on a block to end the third set and put UH ahead 2-1.

Hawaii's offense really started to click with Todd putting down five kills on eight swings and Galloway doing a little bit of everything with tough serves, two impressive digs and two blocks to go along with a kill.

"I was really impressed just putting him out there and watching him go about his business, " Wade said. "Very calm, very like sane. It really was impressive to see him out there."

UH led 19-18 in the fourth set when the Gauchos appeared to get away with four hitst that instead went down as a Ben Coordt kill.

Todd was then whistled for going over the net on the next point that resulted in UCSB taking a 20-19 lead and UH using a timeout.

Galloway slammed a kill out of the timeout to tie it at 20-20, but Rosenthal was called for double contact on a dig attempt on the next point that he quickly protested with the head referee.

The game was tied two more times before Rosenthal and Galloway put it away.

"I want to thank all of the fans that came out tonight and all of the future fans who are going to come out tomorrow, " Todd said. "They are a huge part of how we get out of these funks and how we play well."

Cal State Northridge 3, UC San Diego 0 Opposite Jalen Phillips hit.417 with 15 kills to lead three Matadors in double figures in a 25-20, 28-26, 25-22 win over the Tritons.

Outside hitter Griffin Walters hit a career-high.706 with 12 kills in 17 swings and Kyle Hobus added 11 for CSUN (13-15 ), which won a conference tournament match for just the second time since 2010.

The fifth-seeded Matadors, whose only other win in the BWC tournament was in 2019 against UC Santa Barbara, will play No. 1 seed Long Beach State in today's first semifinal at 4 :30 p.m. The Beach swept CSUN in both matches in conference play.

Anthony Cherfan had 10 kills to lead UC San Diego (12-15 ), which swept Hawaii to end its regular season last weekend.

The Matadors led 24-22 in the second set when UCSD scored three straight points to make it 25-24 and earn set point.

Freshman middle Nir Titan put down a kill after a CSUN timeout to tie the match at 25-all and Hobus gave CSUN a second set point with a kill.

Cherfan answered with a kill for the 15th tie in the set before a Phillips kill led to a Hobus ace to end it.

CSUN closed out the match hitting.842 in the final set. The Matadors didn't sweep a Big West opponent in the regular season and had lost both times to UCSD.


UC SANTA BARBARA 23-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-23 Gauchos (9-18 )

S K E ATT PCT D BA PTS Bianchi 4 24 8 51.314 7 3 25.5 Coordt 4 11 5 24.250 3 1 12.5 Meister 4 8 2 11.545 0 1 8.5 Collins 4 2 6 14-.286 3 2 4.0 Loncar 4 2 0 5.400 0 6 5.0 Walmer 4 1 0 2.500 8 3 3.5 Glenn 4 0 0 0.000 6 0 0.0 Wallace 2 0 0 0.000 0 0 0.0 Pearson 3 0 1 1-1.000 0 0 0.0 Match 4 48 22 108.241 27 16 59.0 Rainbow warriors (23-6 )

S K E ATT PCT D BA PTS Todd 4 13 5 26.308 3 2 15.0 Thiim 4 8 1 16.438 6 2 9.0 Nusterer 4 7 0 8.875 0 4 11.0 Galloway 3 5 2 12.250 6 3 7.5 Rosenthal 4 3 0 5.600 9 3 5.5 Voss 4 3 2 12.083 0 5 5.5 Sakanoko 2 3 3 9.000 1 1 3.5 Choy 4 0 0 0.000 6 0 0.0 Taylor 4 0 0 0.000 1 0 1.0 Kauling 2 0 0 0.000 0 0 0.0 Oguz 2 0 0 0.000 0 0 0.0 Match 4 42 13 88.330 32 20 58.0 Key—s : games ; k : kills ; e : hitting errors ; att : attempts ; pct : hitting percentage ; d : digs ; ba : block assists ; pts : points (kills plus blocks plus aces ).

Service aces—UCSB 3 (Collins, Coordt, Walmer ). Hawaii 6 (Nusterer 2, Galloway, Rosenthal, Taylor, Todd ). Service errors—UCSB 28 (Loncar 6, Meister 6, Walmer 6, Bianchi 4, Collins 3, Coordt 3 ). Hawaii 20 (Thiim 5, Nusterer 4, Sakanoko 3, Todd 3, Rosenthal 2, Galloway, Kauling, Voss ). Assists—UCSB 42 (Walmer 33, Glenn 7, Coordt, Meister ). Hawaii 37 (Rosenthal 31, Thiim 3, Nusterer 2, Sakanoko ). Block solos—UCSB none. Hawaii none. Ball handling errors—UCSB none. Hawaii none. Reception errors—UCSB 6 (Glenn 4, Collins 2 ). Hawaii 3 (Sakanoko, Team, Thiim ). T—2 :32. A—6, 087. Officials—Sergio Gonzalez, Tom Saunders.